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Stimulus funds aid weatherization effort in Spokane April 9, 2009

Filed under: Energy Efficiency,Green Jobs,Washington — nwrenewablenews @ 5:21 pm
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Federal stimulus money will double the pace of home weatherization in Spokane, creating jobs and reducing dependence on imported oil in the process, officials said Tuesday.

Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs, which administers the federal Weatherization Action Program in the community, will get $1.73 million annually over the next three years, on top of the $465,000 received currently, said Chris Davis, the organization’s director of housing improvement.

Washington will receive a total of $59 million for weatherization assistance, said Sen. Maria Cantwell. The program has improved the energy efficiency of 85,000 homes since it was launched in the mid-1970s, she said, but hundreds of thousands in the state still need work.

She said weatherization saves an average homeowner $358 a year on utility bills. To qualify for the program, a family of four can earn no more than about $44,000, she said.

Cantwell said the new money from the U.S. Department of Energy will boost the number of Spokane homes weatherized each year with federal dollars to more than 900, from about 320 now.

Still more homes are weatherized using funds from other sources, said SNAP Executive Director Larry Stuckart.

Because repairs using federal money are capped at $6,500, non-federal dollars are used to complete work on homes that need more extensive work, he said.

Ron Gaunt, who supervises the seven SNAP weatherization crews, said homes are first audited to determine where a home is wasting energy. Infrared cameras, for example, reveal where more wall insulation is needed.

Depending on a home’s deficiencies, electricians install energy efficient lighting fixtures, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, and programmable thermostats. Heating and air-conditioning equipment, as well as water heaters, are replaced. Insulation crews then fill in the walls, seal cracks and replace windows.

Davis said the additional funds will allow him to add 10 workers to the 34 already in the field, and hire private contractors.

“We’re ready to push the money directly to them,” Davis said.

Last year the program provided training to more than 1,000 people in how to better manage energy use.

Daniel Morgan said his home was weatherized in 2007. “I could really feel the difference from one winter to the next,” he said, adding that the work’s social benefits increased his satisfaction with the program.

Morgan’s is one of 5,667 homes SNAP has weatherized since 1993, according to an agency fact sheet.

Bert Caldwell, Spokesman Review


3 Responses to “Stimulus funds aid weatherization effort in Spokane”

  1. Check out the City of Houston’s residential energy efficiency program at The City of Houston has weatherized over 6,000 homes in the last few years through a efficient and effective neighborhood by neighborhood approach.

  2. I would like to apply for the weatherization program.My house is so expensive to heat my roof is falling off,I feel drafts through the whole house. My husband passed away 5 years ago. I need the help that your program is offering. Thank you Kandi Remsing

  3. J Evans-Laury Says:

    3/17/10 I appreciate the work the REEP representatives have completed .
    The men who did the work were very efficient and well trained, and good manners..
    I now have a bigger problem and would appreciate any help you can give me in getting this one solved.
    I am 83 yrs of age and my income was quoted by you all as 50% under the poverty guidelines.
    The young man that did the inspection looked at the sheet rock in the master bed room and told me that it had termites in the walls.
    I did not think to ask if this problem would be handled by the same people.
    I thought it would be a minor thing to cut into the sheet rock and remove the crumbled part and install new. I have patched various spots in my home this way. ” HOWEVER, ” when I cut the hole in the wall, I found all the materials in that wall were eaten by termites and nothing but the aluminum siding was left in that portion of the wall.
    My question is: If you can not help me with this problem, do you know of any one or organization that can?


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